Our hobbies help define us and shape who we are just as much as our job descriptions and our relationships do. How we have fun is part of what makes our lives feel meaningful and satisfying. Through play, even when we are grown up and admittedly too big for such things, we allow ourselves to cast off the stresses of our jobs, bills and daily responsibilities, let loose and experience the natural and contagious joy that comes from participating in a sport, hobby or recreational activity. We feel, in essence, like a kid again.
When we are engaged in what we love to do, whether it is creating beautiful works of art, reading science fiction novels, bowling or fishing, we somehow become more attuned to ourselves and less concerned with what the world needs us to be. We rediscover our skills, strengths and passions when we have conquered new territories, explored new lands and learned to play new games. We feel more free, happier and relaxed. That sense of freedom is something boat owners and boat enthusiasts of all kinds can relate to. Whether you consider boating to be just a weekend hobby or you have a passionate love of one of the many water related sports, boating is a popular past time that is shared by fun seekers the world over.
Families who regularly engage in recreational activities together develop stronger and healthier relationships throughout their lives. Boating is a great way for families and friends to come together. Being out on the water saturates your experience with a sense of adventure, relaxation and peace as well as life-giving lungs full of fresh clean air. The sights, sounds and smells of lakes, rivers and oceans captivate our senses. Without the distractions of modern life constantly buzzing and flashing in front of our eyes all of the time in the form of television and video games, we tend to slow down and experience the moment rather tWhan merely rushing mindlessly into it in search of the next one.
Nature is like medicine for the soul. As we find ourselves drifting, slow and gentle across the sea, rocked by the waves and going wherever the wind sees fit for us to go, we find our relationship with the Earth and with ourselves becomes stronger and more immediate. Families that boat together form bonds and make memories. The family that plays together stays together, even when the miles eventually separate them. Growing healthy relationships with family and friends and relaxing in the beauty of nature are just a couple of the many reasons why people choose boating as their recreational sport of choice.
With boating, there are many different opportunities available for the water enthusiast to choose from. Fishing and skiing are hugely popular sports. Even so, they are by no means the only types of activities that boaters enjoy. Sailing is a skill that requires patience and perseverance to master, but a truly unique and thrilling experience to participate in. Snorkeling offers a glimpse into the world of beauty that lives just beneath the waters surface, but thousands of people train every year to be able to don scuba gear and oxygen tanks, allowing them to dive down deep into the worlds most amazing ocean vistas and experience, if only for a little while, the tranquility and calm of the underwater universe. Motorboat racing is gaining in popularity and is a competitive sport that takes skill, courage and dedication. Of course, some people just like to kick back and relax, floating along on a pontoon boat as hosts of their own private party. These are a mere sampling of the many fun and fabulous ways that people all over the world enjoy their boats.
With the responsibility of boat ownership, comes the other side of the equation - maintenance and upkeep. The recreational boater quickly learns about everything from anchors to boat storage units to zincs once he has dedicated a portion of his life and his income to enjoying and expressing his love of water and wave. Whether your vessel of choice is a fishing boat, a catamaran or a yacht, deciding where you will keep your boat when it is not being used is one of the main decisions that new watercraft owners will need to make, preferably before they buy.
Although the most convenient way to store your boat may be in your own garage or driveway, many neighborhoods and municipalities have restrictions as to the size and weight of vehicles, such as boats and RVs that are allowed in driveways, garages or in the yards of residential homes. But just because you live in an area where such restrictions make it illegal to store a boat on your property does not mean that owning a boat is not a possibility. There are ways. And the ways are numerous. Comparing storing methods and boat storage units is a great place to start.
There are many variations to be considered when looking for affordable and convenient boat storage units . During the spring and summer months when temperatures are mild and warm, your boat will most likely be used more often. Summer time is fun in the sun time for most recreational boaters, and the easier it is to get to your boat and get it in the water, the more likely you will take it out and use it. Ease of access is one of the main concerns that boaters have during these peak times of the year.
Leasing boat storage units that are within close range of either the boat owners home or even better, on or near the water itself, seems to be one of the most convenient ways to maintain your craft during the peak boating periods. Many companies that offer boat storage units of various sizes also offer other services for your craft. These services can be lifesavers if you are new to the boating lifestyle, and the convenience of having all of these services at the same location as the boat storage units make the expense worth the money. These can be general maintenance and repair of your boat as well as washing, waxing and even detailing to keep your prized possession looking and running its best. Many of these companies also have fuel service docking and launching facilities.
Off season boat storage units have one primary function, which is keeping your boat safe. This entails keeping your boat away from the elements, such as freezing weather, as well as from thieves and vandals who may not have your best interests in mind. Storing your boat for the winter is an involved process but an important one, if you are going to maintain proper performance and upkeep of your craft. Preparing your boat for the winter involves such things as using antifreeze, removing electronics and batteries, and sometimes even shrink wrapping the entire vessel! There are some boat savvy businesses who will lease you boat storage units for the winter as well as takes steps to winterize your boat for you. This is a convenient and smart solution for boat owners that are less than mechanically inclined or are too busy to take the necessary steps to prepare their boat for winters arrival. Becoming familiar with the services offered by your local providers is always in your best interests.
When choosing boat storage units , it is important to understand the differences in the various methods of storing them. A wet store refers to the craft being secured to a dock, giving easy access to the water. If you use your boat every couple of days this is truly a time saving convenience and it is not an inexpensive one. There are disadvantages to wet docking, aside from the higher price. For starters, your vessel will continuously be exposed to the sun, wind, snow and rain, although winter will not be quite as much of an issue if you live in a warm coastal region. Bird droppings, insects and even bats and other animals are another less than attractive naturally occurring side effect of wet docking your boat. Critters abound, especially near the water. You may end up with one on your boat if it remains outside. Another disadvantage to wet docking is that the bottom of your boat will need regular cleaning and chemical treatments to withstand the growth of algae and slime that will inevitably overtake it if it remains in the water all of the time. Hauling your boat out of the water to clean it once a month might not be something you enjoy doing. If that is the case, there are other types of boat storage units that you may find meet your specific needs.
Boat storage units take many forms, and each one is geared towards meeting the needs of the clients whom they serve. There are outdoor boat storage units that are on dry land. Some of them are covered, which minimizes exposure to the sun, wind, rain, ice and snow. These covered spaces often require a keypad entry to enter the property and gain access to your craft. They look like great big metal carports, except for the fact that they are much larger than your ordinary automobile. It is important to measure your boat before signing a lease or contract for these types of boat storage units .
The advantages are numerous with a covered space. In addition to being out of the elements, you have access to your boat from the ground level. There is enough space for you to get on your boat, make repairs to it, and clean it out or what ever you need to do. Your boat sits on its trailer, ready to be hooked up to your vehicle and driven out to the lake. There is no need to call ahead and get your boat unwrapped or brought down from a high place, as some other types of boat storage units will have you do. The covered spaces run slightly higher in price than the open air spaces. With open air boat storage units , you may be responsible for covering your craft with a weatherproof tarp to keep it safe from Mother Nature. Some companies will securely cover your boat for you as part of their commitment of service.
Some boat storage units are more tightly packed than others, giving you less freedom to access your boat because of the space saving way in which they are stored. Large outdoor spaces can be used to store hundreds or even thousands of boats for the winter. These boats actually undergo a shrink wrapping process before they are put away in the tightly packed boat storage units . This process is remarkably like shrink wrapping food for storing it in the freezer. The boat is wrapped with a heavy duty shrinkable plastic all the way around. Once the wrapping process is completed, a large heating element is used to heat the plastic which causes it to shrink and tighten around the boat. The boat can then be tagged, securely packed away, whether in outdoor or indoor boat storage units , safe from bugs, critters and all kinds of weather. In the spring, they unwrap it again like a giant birthday gift and haul it right out to you. Outdoor boat storage units are more economical for boats that are very large. The bigger the boat, the more product there is to put away, so to speak. While your boat sleeps the winter away beneath a warm sheet of plastic, your mind will be at ease, and your boat will be fine during the off season.
People have come up with quite a few interesting ways to make boat storage units out of repurposed, large warehouses. These companies have devised elaborate stacking systems as a means of dry storing. The process seems relatively simple, except for the sheer mass involved, and is effective and much more economical than wet docking. You drop your boat off at the facility to have your boat racked. Inside of these large buildings have been built strong, sturdy racks that are made of heavy steel and able to hold tons and tons of boat weight. These boat storage units offer a safe, dry alternative that many boat owners swear by, especially in the colder months. For smaller sized boats, the company uses what is called a marine forklift to gently and safely lift your boat up into the air and slide it into place on the steel rack. For larger, heavier boats, a crane is used to lift the boat up onto the racks. There it will rest throughout the winter, safe indoors, secured from vandals and other suspicious individuals, and tucked neatly away, out of sight and out of your hair.
Pricing of boat storage units varies greatly according to the type and size of boat storage units being used as well as the amenities that each company offers. These amenities might be things like 24 hour surveillance cameras or on premises security guards. Boat storage units that are closer to the water are more convenient and so they are usually more expensive. Wet docking especially during summer months, proves to be the most expensive and the least cost effective during the winter especially in colder climates. Some of these companies go so far as to check the algae levels in the water to make sure that they are not at levels high enough to eat away at the underside of your boat. This is yet another measure of protection that is available to you, but it comes with a price tag.
Some companies require a lease commitment of 6 month to a year, which in the long run is usually cheaper than paying month to month storing fees for your boat. Finding boat storage units that meet most, if not all of your needs and specifications should be included in the process of buying your boat. Right from the start, thinking ahead and familiarizing yourself with all of the responsibilities of boat ownership is the best way to go about building a bridge to your new boat. Take into consideration that the boat payment itself is not the only expense. Factoring in the actual costs of boat ownership which include methods of storing the boat, maintenance and upkeep of the boat, equipment such as parts and upgrades, fuel, batteries, accessories and even property taxes will help prepare you for the purchase.
When it is all said and done, though, do not let all of the technical stuff take the fun and joy out of your new hobby. Once the foundation is laid and the plans are made, you will feel like a child again, on the verge of discovering great treasures in hidden coves and beautiful beaches, sunsets and real life snapshots of nature that will have you and your family excited for the weekend again and again. Follow your dreams wherever they may lead you, down the river or out to sea. The child inside of you will thank you.